Tuesday, November 18, 2008


As I mentioned in the last post, I believe that the passage of Prop. 8 in California was a blessing in disguise. It has served to embolden LGBT people and allies to engage in nationwide rallies, and hopefully other meaningful activism, to demand equal rights in all states of the union, and it has put into sharp relief the ignorance and/or hatred that lies in the hearts of many of one's neighbors, "friends," and acquaintances.

Moreover, it occurred in a "liberal" state like California. It would be tragic, though not unsurprising, for such an outcome to happen in many other states, but for it to happen in California added that much more pain to the bite of the hateful rhetoric and discrimination that has even more forcefully crawled out from under their rocks.

Moreover, in a post entitled, "Which of your civil rights should my religion decide you should lose?," clarity of thinking about LGBT rights being a matter of basic civil rights has been even more clearly demonstrated after the vote on Prop. 8 by the asking of such crucial and rhetorical questions as:

"Which of your civil rights do you want put to a majority vote?"
"Which of your civil rights do we get to vote on?"

[See here.]

However, it must not go unnoticed that the passage of Prop. 8 has also emboldened homophobes nationwide to up the ante in their discrimination.

For example, as related to an organization called Positronic Industries:

"A human resources manager sent out an e-mail message that said management had clarified the issue [about who one could bring to the office Christmas party] as 'the only person that an employee can take as a companion to the Christmas party is an individual that they are married to, or under the current laws of Missouri, they can marry.'” [See here.]

Also, the anti-Gay group, Protect Marriage Illinois, "...are proposing an amendment to the state’s constitution to declare 'the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.” "Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist for the Illinois Family Institute, said Wednesday getting the required number of signatures would send a message to lawmakers about their constituents’ values." [See here.]

I frankly find it inconceivable that the California State Supreme Court will refuse to hear the appeal of the passage of Prop. 8 or that it will uphold the electorate being able to vote on the civil rights of others, particularly once those civil rights were deemed to be applicable to same-sex couples by the California Supreme Court.

"Gay and civil rights groups, the city of San Francisco and other plaintiffs have asked the court to void the measure on the grounds that voters did not have the authority to make, what they say, is a fundamental constitutional change.... Meanwhile, the interfaith California Council of Churches and the Episcopal bishops of Northern California and Los Angeles added their petition Monday to those asking the high court to invalidate Proposition 8. They argue that if voters are permitted to take away rights from a group based on sexual orientation, the same could happen to religious minorities." [See here.]

I am confident that the California Supreme Court will neither look kindly upon a rebuke of its reasoned interpretation of the State Constitution by a tyranny of the majority, nor does it likely want to set a precedent when a court's adjudication of a civil rights matter ultimately results in any group's civil rights being allowed to rest in the hands of voters who can go so far as to write discrimination into a state Constitution.

It seems to me that the judicial, national, and constitutional issues raised by allowing such a tyranny of the majority in any civil rights matter, a tyranny that the Founding Fathers specifically sought to avoid by its creation of a Democratic Republic, will ultimately result in the overturning of the vote on Prop. 8, and the upholding of "the rule of law" upon which this country was founded.
Share |

No comments: